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9 Dec 2015

Brian Wasuna, Business Daily (Kenya)

Locals sue Kenya Pipeline Company after oil spill allegedly impacts their health & livelihood

"Kibwezi residents sue KPC over oil spill"

Residents of Kibwezi East in Makueni have sued the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and Nema, seeking compensation for an oil spill that contaminated River Thange and its environs in May this year.  The residents in a petition filed at the Milimani High Court accuse KPC and the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) of negligence, arguing that the institutions ignored calls from villagers reporting burst underground pipes for over five months.

The leak occurred in May, leading to the spillage of more than 400,000 litres of oil products. Residents now claim some of them have suffered from lead poisoning and that they have lost livestock and crops to diseases after the spill. Alice Muthike Maingi, a resident, says KPC has only given the community one goat, a bull and 50 kilos of sugar for preparing a popular local brew in order to “appease the gods”.